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Are Disadvantaged Bidders Doomed in Ascending Auctions?

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A bidder is said to be advantaged if she has a higher expected valuation of the auction prize than her competitor. When the prize has a common-value component, a bidder competing in an ascending auction against an advantaged competitor bids especially cautiously and, hence, the advantaged bidder wins most of the time. However, contrary to what is often argued, a disadvantaged bidder still wins with positive probability, even if his competitor.s advantage is very large and even if the disadvantaged bidder has the lowest actual valuation ex-post. Therefore, the disadvantaged bidder has an incentive to participate in the auction, and the presence of a bidder with a small advantage does not have a dramatic e¤ect on the seller.s revenue.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 169.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Industrial Economics, 2008, Vol. 56, 3, p. 683.
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:169

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Keywords: common-value auctions; asymmetric bidders;

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  1. Paul Klemperer, 2001. "How (Not) to Run Auctions: The European 3G Telecom Auctions," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Economics Papers 2004-W09, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 427-454, June.
  4. Christopher Avery & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Second-Price Auctions with Asymmetric Payoffs: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 573-603, 09.
  5. Compte, Olivier, 2000. "On the Value of Competition in Procurement Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0829, Econometric Society.
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  7. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 2000. "Competitive Bidding in Auctions with Private and Common Values," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-044/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Pechlivanos, Lambros, 2006. "Second-price common-value auctions under multidimensional uncertainty," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 43-71, April.
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  10. Marco Pagnozzi, 2007. "Bidding to lose? Auctions with resale," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 1090-1112, December.
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  12. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-72 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Bikhchandani, Sushil, 1988. "Reputation in repeated second-price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 97-119, October.
  14. Cantillon, Estelle, 2008. "The effect of bidders' asymmetries on expected revenue in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-25, January.
  15. Ian Ayres & Peter Cramton, 1996. "Deficit Reduction Through Diversity: How Affirmative Action at the FCC Increased Auction Competition," Papers of Peter Cramton 96slr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  16. Marco Pagnozzi, 2003. "Sorry Winners," CSEF Working Papers 108, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 May 2007.
  17. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
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